Filming for the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster Gladiator will take place this summer, Film Commissioner Johann Grech said on Wednesday.
Industry insiders had confirmed in March that production for the film will start around June and shooting will run for about four months.
Grech said on Wednesday the commission is working with Paramount Pictures Studio and executive producers to ensure the shooting plan works.
“Shooting is to start in the coming months and we are hoping to have more people join the industry at large.”
The production will be largely shot at Fort Ricasoli, which also served as the main setting for the original film.
Preparations at Fort Ricasoli are under way, with large scaffolding being mounted. Sources had previously said the sequel production will be on a “much bigger scale” than that for the original film.
The sequel comes 23 years after the release of Gladiator that had starred Russell Crowe as Maximus, a former general forced into becoming a gladiator under the rule of self-appointed Roman emperor Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
More than two decades later, “thousands” of extras are set to be engaged for the filming of the sequel. Yet, asked when and how eager recruits can apply, Grech said hundreds are already working in the sector.
“It’s not just extras that are needed but also crew and all those businesses that support the film industry,” he said.
Grech said that apart from Gladiator, a number of other productions will take place this year with filming taking part at the Mediterranean Film Studios and other locations, including Gozo.
The Gladiator sequel is expected to have Oscar nominees Paul Mescal and Barry Keoghan among the lead roles. Mescal is expected to play Lucius, the son of Maximus lover Lucilla, as a grown man.
A-lister Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal are also expected to form part of the star-studded cast.
Paramount has set a November 2024 release for the epic.